Thesaurus

Synonyms & Antonyms of toil

(Entry 1 of 3)

very hard or unpleasant work
  • after years of toil in a sweatshop, Kim was finally able to start her own dressmaking business

Synonyms for toil

Words Related to toil

Near Antonyms for toil

Antonyms for toil

Synonyms of toil (Entry 2 of 3)

usually toils plural something that catches and holds
  • a married woman hopelessly caught in the toils of an extramarital affair

Synonyms for toil

Words Related to toil

toil

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of toil (Entry 3 of 3)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About toil

How does the noun toil contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of toil are drudgery, grind, labor, travail, and work. While all these words mean "activity involving effort or exertion," toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor.

his lot would be years of back-breaking toil

When would drudgery be a good substitute for toil?

Although the words drudgery and toil have much in common, drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor.

an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery

When might grind be a better fit than toil?

The words grind and toil can be used in similar contexts, but grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body.

the grind of the assembly line

Where would labor be a reasonable alternative to toil?

The words labor and toil are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion.

farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor

When could travail be used to replace toil?

While the synonyms travail and toil are close in meaning, travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering.

years of travail were lost when the house burned

When is it sensible to use work instead of toil?

The meanings of work and toil largely overlap; however, work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force.

too tired to do any work

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about toil

Time Traveler for toil

Time Traveler

The first known use of toil was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Toil.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/toil. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on toil

Dictionary: Definition of toil

Nglish: Translation of toil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of toil for Arabic Speakers

Comments on toil

What made you want to look up toil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!